Analysing the last four winning horses of the King George VI Chase
The festive period is upon us, which for horse racing fans means just one thing – the King George VI is just around the corner! The iconic Boxing Day meeting at Kempton is going to be like no other, as coronavirus restrictions mean there will be a limited number of boisterous racegoers in attendance.
As we count down the days to the Boxing Day race, which Cyrname is now the favourite to win in the betting exchange – let’s take a look at the worthy winners of the past five years.
2015 – Cue Card
Having opened the Jump season with victories in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October and the Lancashire Chase at Haydock in November, Cue Card was in fine form heading into the Boxing Day showpiece, and the Colin Tizzard-trained horse made it three wins a row at the Merseyside racecourse. Setting off at 9/2, Cue Card was the third favourite, but he held on to beat Willie Mullins-trained Vautour, who was the second favourite, by a head, whilst the market leader, Don Cossack fell two out from the finish line.
2016 – Thistlecrack
Thistlecrack‘s victory in 2016 made it nine wins in a row for the Tizzard-trained horse, and a second King George VI triumph on the trot for the trainer. Thistlecrack’s lengthy run of victories dated back to November 2015 and included Grade 1 wins in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, the World Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Liverpool Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree. He headed to Kempton as the 11/10 marker favourite and went on to beat 2015 champion, and his stablemate, Cue Card, by just over three lengths.
2017 – Might Bite
Might Bite is another horse who headed to Kempton on Boxing Day in fine form. After falling in the 2016 King George, the Nicky Henderson-trained horse won a Novices’ Chase at Doncaster by a whopping 30 lengths, the Grade 1 Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree and the Future Stars Intermediate Chase at Sandown. With four wins on the trot, Might Bite set off in the King George as the 6/4 favourite, and saw off 50/1 shot Double Shuffle to win the race by a length.
2018 and 2019 – Clan Des Obeaux
2018 was Clan Des Obeaux‘s first attempt at the King George VI, and not many people would have fancied his chances. The bookies ranked the Paul Nicholls-trained horse as a 12/1 outsider pre-race and his form card was more than enough to justify that price. Clan Des Obeaux had won just three times in his last 10 races and headed to Kempton on the back of three races without a victory. However, he went on to beat 2016 winner Thistlecrack by a length and a half, while market leader Might Bite was away back in 7th.
Clan Des Obeaux followed up his King George triumph with a victory in the Denman Chase at Ascot but went another three races without a win as he headed back to Kempton to defend his title. With just five other horses lining up at for Starters Orders on Boxing Day, the Nicholls-trained horse set off as the third favourite at 11/2, but went on to win the race, beating the market leader Cyrname by a whopping 21 lengths. Clan Des Obeaux will return to the course this year hoping he can become the first horse since the legendary Nicholls-trained Kauto Star, who won the race four times on the trot between 2006 and 2009, to win the race three times back-to-back.